British Bank Standard Chartered which is currently expanding its footprint across the continent is to relocate its Africa business to Johannesburg from Dubai.
The bank, which currently operates in 16 African countries, is planning to invest $100 million over the next three years in expanding its business with the opening of 110 branches and creating 950 new jobs for consumer banking staff.
The news follows the bank’s financial statement for 2012 which showed growth in income, profit and dividends. Pretax profit rose to $6.88 billion last year.
Its income grew eight percent to US$19.07 billion, wholesale banking income was up nine percent of US $11.78bn and consumer banking income was up six percent of US$7.20bn. The annual dividend rose by 10.5 per cent.
Stock rose by 17 percent this year, making Standard Chartered the second-best performer of Britain’s five biggest lenders, trailing Barclays.
Standard Chartered’s income from Africa rose 15 percent last year to $1.59 billion (R14.4bn), with 10 countries posting profit growth of more than 10 percent, including Kenya, which gained 34 percent, and South Africa, which rose 28 percent, said the financial statement.
The bank has been operating in Africa for 150 years and currently employs about 300 people in Johannesburg. With the relocation, it is planned the sub-Saharan Africa team will be based in the city but the Middle East and North Africa teams will remain in Dubai.
The transaction banking and project financing teams covering Africa have already made the move to Johannesburg and traders covering Africa from Dubai are set to move in due course.
One of Standard Chartered’s main competitors Barclays closed its Africa headquarters in Dubai in 2011 and relocated staff to Johannesburg to work more closely with Absa, which it controls. Barclays and Absa are integrating their operations in Africa as both lenders seek to boost profit on a continent where many of the 1 billion people do not have bank accounts